Xtra
2 min

Politics as consumerism

The House returns in just one week. I’m really quite excited to see them all back again and to see how the new lineup is going to perform during Question Period.

But before we get back to the business of the nation, there is a series of stories that you must read, courtesy of Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star. Delacourt delves into what this notion of Tim Horton’s versus Starbucks says about our political culture, and how we the voters became political consumers instead of engaged citizens. Not that this is a stretch from the political rhetoric that turned voters from citizens into taxpayers, as though there was nothing more to the social contract. Nevertheless, Delacourt’s article is a fascinating look at how political messaging has evolved into this current marketing format and drops interesting little tidbits along the way, such as the fact that we apparently had our Tea Party movement two decades ago with the Reform Party. Who knew?

Find them all here, with part onepart twopart three, as well as a bonus blog entry that takes us behind the scenes. I’m eagerly awaiting the eventual book this will become.

Also in the Toronto Star, Chantal Hébert breaks down the political considerations of Harper’s Quebec City arena musing.

The NDP are off in Regina for a caucus strategy session, and no doubt they’ll talk about the gun registry vote – while Jack Layton defends his decision to allow a free vote. With three NDP MPs still undeclared, the vote now apparently stands at 151 to 150 to scrap the registry.

Apparently CSIS will use information obtained through torture, which muddies the waters they’ve repeatedly backpedalled through even further.

Not that this is a surprise, but the federal government has so tightened media rules that federal scientists are being muzzled about benign subjects. Because you can’t have too much message control!

Maclean’s looks into one Bloc MP’s sponsored travel – travel sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood, as it happens. The journalist, Michael Petrou (who is really quite good), says that MPs – and journalists – shouldn’t take sponsored travel to avoid the appearance of influence. Except he doesn’t mention that anytime MPs spend taxpayer money on international travel, the small-minded fiscal conservative chorus cries bloody murder, so what are MPs to do?

Apparently the RCMP is preparing for the eventuality of a coup d’état in Canada. Like a legal coalition government? And weirdly enough, the story got pulled down from the Postmedia website (though it’s been archived here).

Here’s a rather heartening tale about how Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan is taking on the fight for “liberation therapy” for MS patients in Canada.

And finally, Saturday was the 24 Sussex Garden Party, where Harper and his wife, Laureen, hosted the Press Gallery and assorted others, along with their families. I felt a little bad for the pair, who patiently posed for pictures with a very long receiving line, but then Harper vanished, while his wife circulated in the crowd. And no, Harper did not serve anything from the cookbook he contributed to.
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